Definition of paddy wagon in English:

paddy wagon


North American
  • A police van.

    • ‘The streets were empty except for a few neighbors, a paddy wagon and a squad car.’
    • ‘All this time, the person is locked in the paddy wagon with the police standing around outside, talking to the medical staff.’
    • ‘Emerging with her fellow marchers from the basement of the church, she crossed Sixth Avenue North before police stopped her and directed her to a paddy wagon.’
    • ‘Those who got arrested were either transported in paddy wagons or on city buses marked, ‘Not in Service.’’
    • ‘They handcuffed me, put me in a paddy wagon and brought me to some detention centre that I think was in the East End.’
    • ‘They'd already heard about the police paddy wagon pulling up at the gate.’
    • ‘Six police arrived, and got me from a very critical situation on that train station, into the back of a paddy wagon and off to hospital, which is exactly where I needed to be.’
    • ‘After paramedics patch you up, you're found guilty of armed robbery and shipped off to prison in a paddy wagon.’
    • ‘For the next two hours, the entire area was crawling with dozens of police vans, squad cars, riot troops and paddy wagons.’
    • ‘Down the block, closer to where the protests had been, many of the protesters were cuffed and put into paddy wagons.’
    • ‘We were following traffic rules when a big police paddy wagon pulled up with its light on.’
    • ‘All of a sudden, a paddy wagon pulled up, cops jumped out and threw us up against the wall, patted us down, handcuffed us, put us in the van and took us to the judge, who was in all-night court.’
    • ‘I featured prominently in the Sunday evening news bulletins of all three commercial television networks, as an unwitting prop, being detained and thrown in the back of a paddy wagon for my alleged crimes.’
    • ‘Demonstrators attempted to prevent the arrest by blocking access to a police paddy wagon which had showed up to carry the mime away.’
    • ‘More than 40 police with paddy wagons confronted a delegation of workers and union officials when they arrived for negotiations at the plant on October 11.’
    • ‘Rousted from the sparkling table, we were handcuffed and shoved into a paddy wagon.’
    • ‘We are being treated like criminals, being handcuffed and taken away in paddy wagons.’
    • ‘The protesters refused, and a few minutes later the police arrived with a paddy wagon.’
    • ‘Perry was later handcuffed with plastic tie wraps, carted off to the paddy wagon with the other protesters and arrested for mischief.’
    • ‘However, no police officers were present to guard the defendant inside the paddy wagon.’


1930s: paddy from Paddy, perhaps because formerly many American police officers were of Irish descent.


paddy wagon